Re: Obamaing

1

I, frankly, have done nothing this week* to help get Obama elected. But I will point at that Fleur, who is assuredly too modest to say so herself, co-hosted a fundraiser in PDBS which raised a better than modest amount of hard $ for the campaign.

She was a little disappointed that the average age of the attendees was somewhere north of menopausal. I assured her that the young people were just clicking on the campaign website and making donations on their credit cards, and that they didn't need a plateful of Lorna Dunes and a cup of cheap Chardonnay to get them to write a check. Fleur then informed me that the wine served at the event was not cheap chardonnay, but $300 worth of good wine purchased from the local high end wine store--at our expense.

Not that I begrudge BHO the expense, mind you. But now I'm wondering whether we have made an in-kind donation in excess of $200 that technically has to be reported to the FEC under campaign finance laws.

* Last week I got the folding table and chairs out of my garage so that occasional commenter Magistra could use them for canvassing at the local shopping center. I even helped her load them in her car. So there is that.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 6:38 AM
horizontal rule
2

Hey KR, can you send me Fleur's e-mail. Also, I'd be very interested to know if Magistra knows anything about trips to NH.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 6:44 AM
horizontal rule
3

Forgive an ignorant foreigner, but what does the "ETW" stand for in "WDYDTGOETW"? "What did you do to get out ? the ?" is as far as I can parse it.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 6:45 AM
horizontal rule
4

What did you do to get obama elected this week?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
5

3 - "Obama elected this week"


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
6

Duh. Thanks.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 7:00 AM
horizontal rule
7

I've found that more and more independents have been asking me questions about Obama.

Until now, many have simply not listened to anything. John McCain was this maverick moderate guy who had served in the military. For some, the Palin debacles have made them decide that they should actually look at the issues. For others, they are simply realizing that it is time to investigate the issues. The debates were the starting point for the campaign.

Now is the time to educate independents on Obama's economic ideas, tax policy, foreign policy, and decision-making.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 7:00 AM
horizontal rule
8

Hey, wouldja look at that? Latest Quinnipiac battleground state polls:

Pennsylvania
Obama 54
McCain 39

Ohio
Obama 50
McCain 42

Florida
Obama 51
McCain 43


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 7:03 AM
horizontal rule
9

Spent two hours door canvassing on Saturday and am going to spend another two to three hours today. I've agreed to canvas every Saturday and Wednesday until the election, but the exact schedule may change.

To make the activity less stressful I've taken to picturing myself as a vector for talking points. I get a list of likely voters, like a virus identifying cells to attack by their exterior proteins. When someone answers the door and says they are undecided, I deliver the payload:

"I'm really scared about this mess on Wall Street, too. The thing to remember is that 8 years of Republican economic policies are what got us here. If McCain were president, he would just continue the same destructive policies of deregulation and tax cuts targeted at the rich. We need to vote for Obama to change the way the economy is run in this country."

Saturday I knocked on 40 doors, and delivered that payload to two undecided voters. A third undecided voter got the No Child Left Behind payload, and a couple Obama voters got the "Vote Early" payload.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 7:33 AM
horizontal rule
10

Rob has found a sadly neglected porno plot.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
11

Rob has found a sadly neglected porno plot.

Speaking of porno plots, a good friend of mine who is a mid-level competitive rower forwarded me the following e-mail yesterday:

The Head of the Charles is looking for volunteers to host part or all of the Dutch National Team Women's 8 that is appearing in the race. If there is anyone who is willing to house some or all of this boat, please contact me at [redacted].

Unfortunately, my friend couldn't think of an adequate pretext to send his wife out of town for the weekend.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
12

So, WDYDTGOETW?

1) Held another fund-raiser with cheaper wine than Fleur's.

2) Phone banked for the umpteenth time.

3) Killed nine elderly white people in Altoona, four in Pensacola, and sixteen! in Grand Rapids. Disposed of their bodies carefully and with appropriate reverence.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
13

Oh, and I tanked the financial markets, which should help too.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
14

The wife and I maxed out as Obama donors, and the theft of our yard sign (it lasted


Posted by: George Washington | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
15

11: Huh. I'm totally out of touch, so I can't offer, but my old co-op is ideally located and is a big house, so at least has floor space. I wonder if Nathan Williams is (a) around, and (b) in touch enough with current house residents to see if anyone in a position to offer space is willing too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:00 AM
horizontal rule
16

Now, my friends, I'll offer anybody here $50 an hour if you'll go pick send mailers and work for the whole season. So -- OK? Sign up. OK.
You sign up. You sign up, and you'll be there for the whole season, the whole season. OK? Not just one day. Because you can't do it, my friend.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
17

er, "pick and send mailers..."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:02 AM
horizontal rule
18

14, completed:

The wife and I maxed out as Obama donors, and the theft of our yard sign (it lasted 24 hrs!) inspired Mrs. Washington to volunteer for the campaign. And I ordered 10 more yard signed. Yay democracy!!!


Posted by: George Washington | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:04 AM
horizontal rule
19

15: God bless you, LB, for imputing innocent motives to my posting of the e-mail in 11. You give me far too much credit.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:06 AM
horizontal rule
20

Well, the nefarious motive was explicit -- I was giving you credit for mixed motives.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:07 AM
horizontal rule
21

12: For Ari, all days are days of awesome!

I made phone calls and bullied a friend with rich friends into hosting a fund raiser. Oh, and I gave BHO more money.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
22

Unfortunately, my friend couldn't think of an adequate pretext to send his wife out of town for the weekend.

One of our neighbor emailed me to ask whether we want to host a couple of young, attractive Obama volunteers for the summer.

Turns out, they were college-aged boys.

Umm....no thanks. Let us know when some female Obama volunteers need housing!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
23

Apparently, the volunteers are working crazy long hours. Leave at 8 am and get home at midnight hours.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
24

20: I should also give you credit for your restraint in forebearing to make a joke about how they prefer the smallest cox they can get.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:16 AM
horizontal rule
25

I volunteered to do data entry two nights a week on Sunday, but haven't received a call back.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
26

I spent two nights there one Sunday.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:31 AM
horizontal rule
27

rob,

Saturday I knocked on 40 doors, Good on ya! How did that go? Not too badly I hope.

I ducked a campaign call from the elect Obama phone bank or somesuch thing, saving a wee bit of a canvasser's time.

I also knocked on the one neighbor's door who has put out a McCain/Palin lawn sign. I was gonna ask them what their problem was, but didn't need to do that when the elderly owner tottered to the door. I crumbled and said something about real problems in the world and McCain would make them worse.

Then I berated myself on the way back to the car about being a wimp. It takes about ten minutes for the adrenaline to burn off after you are pumped for a fight and back down. Bummer.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
28

At the point where they have the yard sign I think they are pretty much in the tank. Yelling at them would probably just increase their likelihood of voting, donating, and working for the campaign.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:59 AM
horizontal rule
29

togolosh,

It was a little lawn sign, but I take your point.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
30

I've signed up for Voter Protection -- lawyers, this is a fun way to spend election day.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
31

I'm far from maxing out but I gave more of mah monies to Obama.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
32

WDYDTGOETW?

I secretly replaced Sarah Palin's coffee with inarticulate meandering.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
33

I accepted a gig organizing Obama events for a local pro-Obama elected official.

Satisyingly, I ran into a dour and unpleasant acquaintance from my union organizing days the day before. "Who are you working for now?" she asked me. "No one," I said. "I'm writing." "Screenplays?" she sniffed. I affirmed. "Are you doing anything for Obama?" she asked. "Not a damn thing," I said. "Shameful," she said.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:20 AM
horizontal rule
34

I injected McCain's brain with a mix of aluminum powder and charred bacon (old family recipe) to enhance his campaign-imploding dementia.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
35

Oh, no, Sifu! Don't you know anything about politics? That's "winner's mix!"


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:26 AM
horizontal rule
36

I don't have any grandparents in Florida, but if any of you do, consider The Great Schlep!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:33 AM
horizontal rule
37

I got a report from my hometown (in northern Virginia, just at the edge of the DC suburbs) that a couple of Obama lawn signs were set on fire, which is more disturbing than the usual lawn sign theft.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:36 AM
horizontal rule
38

I secretly replaced Sarah Palin's coffee with inarticulate meandering.

The best part of waking up is the strategy as I have proposed as that, it is the job creation I told Hamid Karzai.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:49 AM
horizontal rule
39

36: I am pleased to say that the Biden/Palin 1-2 punch moved my Florida in-law/semi-in law from one McCain and one "hold nose and vote for Obama" to 2 relatively enthusiastic Obama supporters. Now I just give them my Amway speech. Tutu the Ents.

Also my mother reports that my deeply "tribal Republican" (didn't like Bush, Cheney Rumsfeld or Rice but voted for Bush in '04 anyway) Ohioan father is saying "I might surprise you". My contribution to that is to not talk to him about anything remotely approaching politics.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
40

I sent in my forms to be a pollworker on Nov. 4!

It was something I wanted to do, but I have classes and work and everything. And then I was like, come on, how am I going to concentrate at work all day when I want to be in the thick of things? So I'm sending emails to my boss and profs. and signing up to participate in the democratic process.

Incidentally, I now have to get an absentee ballot, because I probably won't be working in my home precinct.


Posted by: inksublime | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
41

I gave him $500. Scattered my money around pretty widely, mostly to Congressional and Senate candidates, after googling polls and checking 538 to see who had a reasonable chance of winning.

Thanks to Sir Kraab for mentioning Victoria Wulsin in the congressional candidates post. I gave her a big chunk of cash, though things are somewhat less promising pollwise this time than last time. Still, I'm hoping for a big Jennifer Brunner effect in Ohio.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
42

Wait, where is there an Obama office with a mailroom?


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:53 AM
horizontal rule
43

I thought I'd invented the Palin and the McCain meme, but it turned out several other people had already noticed the resemblance. Poit!


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
44

I am posting flyers for my Obama fundraiser and doing my neighbor-to neighbor work this week and next!


Posted by: miranda | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
45

I sent in my forms to be a pollworker on Nov. 4!

Ugh, I really wanted to work in a polling place this year, since I think it would probably be helpful to have at least one person under the age of seventy in there. In fact the local board of canvassers just called me yesterday to ask if I was interested, but I had to turn them down.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
46

27: Oh, it wasn't so bad. We've been instructed not to argue with McCain voters, which both makes good sense and avoids a lot of tension. Our goal is to convince undecideds and energize supporters. They are really pushing early voting here in OH as a way to avoid election day fiascos.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
47

10: That's just a variation on the Fuller brush salesman porno plot, right?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
48

You all need to check out Neil's blog if you haven't recently. The Palin posts are very funny.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:16 AM
horizontal rule
49

46:

rob, good to hear. These kids of things usually turn out to be not that bad once one gets going on it.

It's really hard to give good advice on these things without actually seeing the person or knowing them, so my generic response still holds - good for you and I'm glad to hear it! Plus now you will always be able to fall back on your fuller-brush pron cold-calling skills, so that may be useful in the future.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:35 AM
horizontal rule
50

Oops, sorry, skillz (laydeez).


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 10:36 AM
horizontal rule
51

I injected McCain's brain with a mix of aluminum powder and charred bacon

mmm, bacon thermite...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
52

I went by dem hq on scenic Market & 6th by chance and signed up to volunteer to do various things, but they haven't contacted me.

Credit for good intentions: check
Not actually having to follow through: check.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
53

On the news last night there was a story of an Obama yard sign being burned. Now the weird part was that the sign was in the yard of a black man, but was moved to his white neighbor's yard to be burned. When interviewed, the black man made ominous, cross burning references, but the neighbors discounted that.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:35 AM
horizontal rule
54

bite you in the torso and give you a disease

Nice.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:37 AM
horizontal rule
55

1: I am not at all shocked that Fleur's endeavor was successful. Lots of good wine, good food, and then, just to prep their check-signing hands, bust out the digestifs. And the marks, I presume, were the rich inhabitants of [Yourtown]. Who are right in the middle of taking the bath of their lives. If fleur decided to employ her mad hosting skillz to their fullest extent, I bet she could raise enough money to get actual political influence, however minor.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
56

Not that I begrudge BHO the expense, mind you. But now I'm wondering whether we have made an in-kind donation in excess of $200 that technically has to be reported to the FEC under campaign finance laws.

But you gave the wine to your guests, not BHO!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
57

So Palin went on in her last interview about how she has a gay friend, but no one can seem to find him. Dan Savage has volunteered for the role, but I think that rather foisting a gay friend on Palin, we should figure out who in her inner circle is secretly gay.

My money is on Todd.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
58

So Palin went on in her last interview about how she has a gay friend, but no one can seem to find him.

Since Palin refers to her gay friend as "she," it's perhaps not surprising that no one can seem to find him.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
59

"I have lots of gay friends" is very first-Clinton-administration, isn't it? Fucking yahoos.

I gave some money this week. On this:

Ugh, I really wanted to work in a polling place this year, since I think it would probably be helpful to have at least one person under the age of seventy in there.

I just want to note that working elections as a pollworker or election judge is extremely rewarding. When a woman comes in for same-day registration and makes a point of telling every pollworker that she is an immigrant from Iran and is voting for the first time and thanks us for being there, whoah. When a guy tells you he's just back from a National Guard deployment and then he sits his small daughter on his knee and says to her, as he waits for me to finish registering him, "I'm doing this for you, sweetie," whoah. My heart was lodged in my throat for the rest of the day.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 3:37 PM
horizontal rule
60

Not that I'm trying to guilt mrh, who has lots going on at the moment! I'm just saying.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
61

One idea that could be fun is to invite any undecided or republican voters over to your home on Thursday night to watch the debate. Have some beer and nachos, and help them see the light about Palin, and her proximity to the number one spot should she be elected.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 4:33 PM
horizontal rule
62

I knocked on about 30 doors this evening, because I got a late start.

Talking to undecided voters is a lot like talking to students who haven't done the reading or who did the reading and are completely baffled by it. They are confused and embarrassed by their confusion. Sometimes they express this by being sullen. Sometimes they giggle and admit ignorance.

Saying "the financial crisis is complicated" and delivering a two sentence over simplified explanation and Obama pitch is a lot like saying "Plato is complicated" and delivering a two sentence oversimplified explanation and a pitch for the examined life.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
63

I volunteered, but no one has contacted me about it...I bet they are flooded with people. Either that or they've heard about me.

Obama is crushing in the polls right now -- even more so when you look behind the national numbers into the swing states. The swing in Florida is unbelievable. The map is turning blue very quickly. It's starting to look like a potential landslide.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
64

I volunteered, but no one has contacted me about it...I bet they are flooded with people. Either that or they've heard about me.

Obama is crushing in the polls right now -- even more so when you look behind the national numbers into the swing states. The swing in Florida is unbelievable. The map is turning blue very quickly. It's starting to look like a potential landslide.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
65

saying "Plato is complicated" and delivering a two sentence oversimplified explanation and a pitch for the examined life.

Protreptic is an ancient and honorable tradition.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 5:53 PM
horizontal rule
66

Talking to undecided voters is a lot like talking to students who haven't done the reading or who did the reading and are completely baffled by it. They are confused and embarrassed by their confusion. Sometimes they express this by being sullen. Sometimes they giggle and admit ignorance.

I've long since decided that this is the general state of affairs with most citizens, and that many of those who are nonethelesss decided have made their decisions in view of tribal identification, judgments of 'character', and so on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
67

The swing in Florida is unbelievable.

The great schlep must be working.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
68

What did I do? I just sent this note to over 100 college students who are in my classes. [I can't send them partisan electioneering messages, but I can use University resources to tell them how to register (my Provost says so.)] Given the demographic, it's fair to say that most will vote the right way.

Students:

I'm going to step out of my role as your professor, and into my role as a fellow citizen of the United States.

I want to encourage everyone to register (if you haven't already), and vote in the next election by advance or absentee ballot in your home state.

You can do this very easily at http://maps.google.com/vote

On that page, type in your home address and it will give you information on registering, getting absentee ballots, etc. Registration in some states ends in just a few days so time is of the essence.

This is a crucial election for many reasons: the economy is in serious trouble, the earth is in serious trouble, and your future careers depend on having good leadership at all levels of government.

All of us need to be involved in the selection of our leaders.

Some of you are from states where the election will be close (MO, CO) and every vote really does count. (Remember that the 2000 Presidential election in Florida was decided by just a few hundred votes.) But regardless of where you live, every vote counts.



Posted by: mistersmed | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 6:34 PM
horizontal rule
69

My money is on Todd.

It's the little moustache.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 6:34 PM
horizontal rule
70

Hosted a fundraiser? What's involved? How might a hermit with no friends attract attendees? (I've already pushed my friends and family pretty hard to donate.) Did you just sign up for that on the Obama website?


Posted by: a libertarian democrat | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 8:18 PM
horizontal rule
71

70: In all likelihood, you are ill-equipped to do what Fleur did. If you are serious about electing Obama, contact your local campaign. They'll probably assign you box-hauling or mailer-licking, but ours is not to reason why.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:35 PM
horizontal rule
72

70: In all likelihood, you are ill-equipped to do what Fleur did. If you are serious about electing Obama, contact your local campaign. They'll probably assign you box-hauling or mailer-licking, but ours is not to reason why.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 1-08 11:38 PM
horizontal rule
73

In UK news, meanwhile, our repellent turdbastard of a police chief is toast.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
74

I'm spreading Gentleman's Relish as we speak.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
75

71, 72:

Ah, you're probably right. Never mind. I'll try another approach.


Posted by: a libertarian democrat | Link to this comment | 10- 2-08 10:09 PM
horizontal rule
76

I'm thinking of doing more pro-Obama blogging. Actually, if my job search has its latest expected poor outcome, I'm going to be looking at political volunteering or work again. I'm probably more likely to volunteer for a state Senate race; California needs a 2/3 democratic majority.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 3-08 4:14 AM
horizontal rule